Credit to Crucial and a rant about the OSX Finder

A bit of a departure, but given my temporary World Cup induced break I thought I’d try to remember to give a little bit of credit where it was due.

Back in November last year I bought a Macbook Pro, and upgraded the ram via Crucial to 4Gb.  The machine never really ran properly, however: it always felt very sluggish when swapping between applications and even simple things like Dashboard or even accessing menu items resulted in the ‘spinning beachball of despair’ for a few seconds.  I tried everything – reinstalling OSX and all apps was the final straw, but even that didn’t cure things.  I really had no clue what was up, but a chance loan of a friend’s Macbook (with 2Gb ram) made me curious about whether I had some defective memory.  Inspired by how fast a contemporary Macbook was, and how sluggish my (theoretically faster) Macbook Pro was in comparison, I decided to dig out the original Apple ram, and re-installed it.

Bingo: instant zippiness.  For sure, there was something wrong with the Crucial ram.

So, this is where I want to thank Crucial for a totally no-fuss replacement.  They handled my warranty claim with great efficiency and professionalism.  I don’t know what the actual problem with the ram was (it had always tested fine in various hardware tests that I tried) but it was no longer my problem: a new pair of 2Gb chips arrived within a few days and since then the Macbook Pro has got its mojo back!

On the subject of Apple, I’d like to take a pop at the Finder.  How is it that, in 2010, following ten years of iterative enhancement to OSX, we are still saddled with a buggy and inconsistently designed file manager.  The Finder, quite frankly, is the elephant in the room where the Apple system is concerned.  It’s prone to crashing when accessing SMB based network shares and when it goes, you’ve often no choice but to power down (software restarts frequently don’t work).  This is not a good thing in an otherwise class-leading operating system.  I simply don’t get why Apple don’t look to what’s going on in the third party file manager market and learn a few lessons.

Case point: Path Finder, an affordable and really well put together file manager, offers so much more, with tabs, a drop-stack and loads of useful features.  Ordinarily, I prefer to stick with the supplied ‘core’ applications, but I thoroughly recommend any Mac user to try to minimise their use of the ‘Flaky Finder’ and give Path Finder a try.  No ties to Cocoatech, who make the app, apart from being a very satisfied (paid up) customer.  Go try it!

About John Clark

My name is John Clark and I previously ran a software house called Reynard Thomson, from which this blog originally grew. In the meantime, we launched a video-based user testing service (Kupima) which didn't really take off, and I have since moved into a new field specialising on software-based research & development consultancy. I'm active on LinkedIn, and would love to connect to anyone who has an interest in software prototyping or R&D:
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